Play 5 (2nd gen) trouble at lower volumes

  • 31 December 2016
  • 4 replies

Userlevel 2
  • Avid Contributor I
  • 4 replies
I have a new play 5 2nd gen that is to replace a play 1. I've ran truetune and set both the play 1 and play 5 at flat EQ. They are sitting side by side.

My issue is with anything below, say 45% volume, the sound out of the play5 is less desirable to me than the play 1. Specifically the vocals. Anything below 25% I can barely hear vocals at all and the bass and high treble are over powering which mutes out the vocals. With loudness off, the vocals are even more removed. When I switch the the play1, the voice is much more forward facing and pronounced making it easy to hear and listen to at low volume. It seems like a far more natural sound while the play5 seems more 'digital' or unnaturally amplified. It's hard to explain.

Has anyone else experienced this? I'm quite surprised to walk away more impressed with the play1 at low volume than the play5. Everything I had read and based on the impressive set up, I had expected the play5 to outperform at all levels.

Any sugguestions to try with EQ, tuning or room location?


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4 replies

You are likely going to get some pretty subjective answers on this. In my opinion your best options in the Play series are:

1) 2 Play1s plus a Sub
2) 2 Play1s
3) 1 Play1
4) A Play5 Gen1 feeding headphones
5) Any other Play speaker or combination of Play speakers

Obviously others will have their own view but nobody is going to promise that a Play5 Gen2 is always going to be the best option for you. Only you and your ears can decide that.
Userlevel 2
That's interesting. I have tried every measure I can think of to get the voice/instrument more forward sounding and cannot. I've been a huge play1 fan for years, but would have never thought I'd like the sound more than the new 5. Obviously at louder volume that is not the case, but majority of my listening is under 50 volume.
Userlevel 4
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I started with a play5 in my living room and thought it was a great sounding powerful speaker but I came to the conclusion that the it was better to scatter play1 all over the house rather than the play5. I ended up moving the play5 to a small bedroom that it can easily handle. I must say I use it at low volume with no problem. I like the play5 but I never thought I would end up preferring the play1. I recommend play1 in pairs and if you can afford it add a sub. - Kris 🙂
I am having the same problem and for the money I spent on 2 of them it seems like it has been wasted. The play at the same volume sounds way better. I have 2 play one's and two play 5's 2nd gen and they are set up in stereo mode.